Residents will have the opportunity to decide how to advance plans on controlling the local Canada Goose population and borrow millions for solid waste projects.
The Capital Regional District board on Dec. 14 approved using the alternate approval process for its regional Canada Goose management service and borrowing $36 million for projects in its five-year solid waste plan.
Both initiatives will go ahead unless at least 10 per cent of the region’s eligible electorate (33,208 residents) indicate they would instead want the board to hold a referendum before proceeding. If under 10 per cent file such a response by noon on Jan. 23, the board will move forward with adopting the two proposals.
Staff explained that the alternate approval process is a way to sometimes provide a more regional consensus around buying into services that impact the entire CRD, compared to asking individual municipalities if they consent to a new bylaw. It’s also less costly than a regional referendum, staff said.
The CRD’s Canada Goose management service would look to control the over-abundant population of birds on the South Island, which the CRD said has led to degrading coastal ecosystems and waterways, public and private lands and increasing risk to public health across the region.
The CRD previously said the service would cost $237,000 in 2023 and would include Canada goose egg addling – terminating the embryos – and bird culling next year. Any culling would include the goose meat not going to waste.
The $36-million loan would enable the projects identified within the CRD’s Solid Waste Service’s five-year (2023-2027) capital plan to be completed.
That plan includes constructing a renewable natural gas plant at Hartland Landfill to replace its aging gas-to-electricity plant. The CRD says the new facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 264,000 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of removing 2,240 cars from the road, over the next 25 years.
The loan would also go toward the landfill’s cell liner installation and its sedimentation pond relining and expansion.
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